A Survey of Deep Learning Approaches to Image Restoration

Jingwen Su, Boyan Xu, Hujun Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this paper, we present an extensive review on deep learning methods for image restoration tasks. Deep learning techniques, led by convolutional neural networks, have received a great deal of attention in almost all areas of image processing, especially in image classification. However, image restoration is a fundamental and challenging topic and plays significant roles in image processing, understanding and representation. It typically addresses image deblurring, denoising, dehazing and super-resolution. There are substantial differences in the approaches and mechanisms in deep learning methods for image restoration. Discriminative learning based methods are able to deal with issues of learning a restoration mapping function effectively, while optimisation models based methods can further enhance the performance with certain learning constraints. In this paper, we offer a comparative study of deep learning techniques in image denoising, deblurring, dehazing, and super-resolution, and summarise the principles involved in these tasks from various supervised deep network architectures, residual or skip connection and receptive field to unsupervised autoencoder mechanisms. Image quality criteria are also reviewed and their roles in image restoration are assessed. Based on our analysis, we further present an efficient network for deblurring and a couple of multi-objective training functions for super-resolution restoration tasks. The proposed methods are compared extensively with the state-of-the-art methods with both quantitative and qualitative analyses. Finally, we point out potential challenges and directions for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-65
Number of pages20
Early online date25 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - 28 May 2022


  • Deep learning
  • Image restoration
  • Deblurring
  • Super-resolution


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